Faculty & Staff
Professor of Counseling Psychology, Graduate Program Director of the Counseling Psychology PhD program
Sharon G. Horne, PhD, conducts research on LGBTQ issues, mental health and college student development, and international psychology concerns. Her LGBTQ Research Team, co-led with Heidi M. Levitt, PhD, a faculty member in clinical psychology at UMass Boston, focuses on improving and strengthening the lives of LGBT individuals through study of issues relevant to LGBT experience. Within a social justice framework, we explore LGBTQ health and wellness from both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We are interested in factors of sexual minority stress (e.g., internalized heterosexism and stigma consciousness) and how LGBTQ individuals are resilient in their management of minority stress. LGBTQ individuals may find they are resilient when they have access to social or community support systems, and are supported in their self-disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity. Research projects have focused on LGBT spirituality; LGBT youth and resiliency; same-sex couples and relationship factors; internalized heterosexism and mental health factors of Russian LGBT individuals; heterosexual attitudes toward LGBT individuals and coming out in therapy; and most recently, the psychological impact of anti-LGBT policies and amendments on the lives of LGBT individuals and their family members. In the past 6 years, more than 25 undergraduate and graduate students have participated in the team, resulting in numerous national presentations and publications co-authored with students. In addition, students on the LGBTQ research team have been recipients of 5 national awards.
Current Projects: 1. This team is in the process of research on the role of sexual and racial minority stress on health behaviors of LGBTQ individuals (e.g., HIV/AIDS), and how social support networks in the form of alternative family networks in communities of color may foster resiliency and reduce harmful health behaviors. 2. The psychological development of LGBTQ international and transnational activists: A qualitative study. The Mental Health and College Student Development Team, co-led with colleague Dr. Guler Boyraz is conducting research on the role of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental health on college student development, including issues of retention, academic achievement and post-graduation employment. Dr. Horne is a fellow of the American Psychological Association in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) and Division 52 (International Psychology). She has been an Open Society Foundations Academic Fellow with the Psychology Department at American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan since 2005. Dr. Horne is an American Psychological Association Representative for the International Network of LGBT Concerns.